Barricaded suspect to cops: ‘Do you want to go to war?’

Leonard N. Fleming
The Detroit News

Detroit — Police have taken a suspected gunman into custody after he had barricaded himself in a home on the city’s east side.

Police arrived around 8:11 a.m. Thursday on the 14900 block of Kercheval and found a 46-year-old black man alone and armed with an assault rifle, Officer Dan Donakowski said.

According to Officer Nicole Kirkwood, when police confronted him at his doorway, he said: "Do you want to go to war?"

Neighbors said the suspect is a paranoid schizophrenic who was off his medication. He made references two days ago to family members that he wanted to die, Kirkwood said.

Police took the man into custody around 11:25 a.m. He surrendered without incident wearing jeans, a T-shirt and baseball cap.

"Hostage negotiators were able to talk him out of the location," said Detroit Police Commander Elvin Barren, who spoke to reporters minutes after the man was apprehended. "No shots were fired. It was a peaceful resolution. The suspect came out without any type of incident or resistance."

Barren said an assault rifle was recovered but he did not know what kind.

The weapon, Barren said, was placed in a closet of the apartment building where the man lived.

Barren said to his knowledge, this was the "first negative contact with him" but that he did have "some mental illness in his past per his family that he was being treated for."

Police officials said the apartment structure he lived in has a "firewall" that kept him from entering other apartments. He will be taken to the Detroit Detention Center to determine his mental health, Barren said.

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Twitter: @leonardnfleming